Tourism representative and Rockhampton businessman Grant Cassidy enjoys time out along the city’s riverfront yesterday.
Tourism representative and Rockhampton businessman Grant Cassidy enjoys time out along the city’s riverfront yesterday. CHRIS ISON

Summit prepares to tackle rowdies

A SUMMIT to tackle public disorder issues in Rockhampton is expected to go ahead within the next four to six weeks, Robert Schwarten said.

Mr Schwarten, the Member for Rockhampton, said the high-powered summit was being co-ordinated by the department of the Premier, Anna Bligh.

He said he’d spoken this week with Ms Bligh about the summit and it would happen.

Those expected to attend include the ministers for police, liquor licensing, local government and Aboriginal affairs and community services.

“We have to get everyone’s diaries together,” Mr Schwarten said.

“The departments have already done a fair bit of work, so when the ministers get here they will be presented with a plan.”

Late last year Mr Schwarten promised to hold the summit after receiving a growing number of complaints about public disorder incidents in the CBD.

Many of the complaints concern drunken indigenous people causing problems in and around the CBD’s public places.

Yesterday a man contacted The Morning Bulletin angry that people along the riverbank had ruined his recent visit to the city.

The man, who asked not to be named, said he’d spent $800 on accommodation, a meal and drinks for the night, which was ruined by the anti-social behaviour of a drunken group along the riverbank.

He said he watched the group hurl abuse and objects, such as empty cans, at passers-by, including families and elderly people.

They then turned their attention on him.

“I’m a big miner and I would not have liked to have gone out there by myself,” the man said.

“I was disgusted.

“The riverbank is gorgeous, but I won’t stay again.

“I’ve been in touch with the manager of the hotel, and everything there was great, but what’s happening is disgraceful.”

The manager of the hotel where the man stayed confirmed a complaint had been made about what happened.

Capricorn Tourism chairman Grant Cassidy, who operates two businesses along the riverbank precinct, said anti-social behaviour “in any way, shape or form” was not acceptable.

“The business community has been actively working with police, the mayor and Robert Schwarten to look for a whole-of-community approach to dealing with a broad range of anti-social behaviour issues,” Mr Cassidy said.

“We applaud Robert Schwarten for his summit initiative.

“As an active member of the business community I will participate at the forum.”

He said the summit needed to deliver a long-term solution.

“This issue is not just unique to the riverfront area.

“People should be able to visit our city and enjoy the facilities and the wonderful river. Anti-social behaviour can’t be tolerated.”

Mr Cassidy said council, government, residents and the business community had invested millions of dollars to create a new, iconic precinct for the region.

“We need to continue the development of the riverfront area as an iconic tourism attraction and lifestyle precinct for the region,” he said.



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